10 ways to make your rental property more eco- friendly
Crockers | Reading Time: 5 Minutes | January 2020
How to make your rental property more eco- friendly
It’s 2020, which means you need to know how to make your rental property more eco-friendly. It’s not enough to simply invest in a property and rent it out.
As a landlord, you need to adhere to things like The Healthy Homes Act, the Residential Tenancy Act, as well as keeping your tenants happy during their occupancy. Not only this, people are becoming more aware of environmental issues.
Housing quality is a hot topic for tenants, and they are becoming more aware of legal standards. These are standards that everyday New Zealanders will demand more and more over time!
In this article, we will give you 10 ways that you can improve your rental to have less impact on the environment.
Benefits of making your rental home more eco-friendly
There are many benefits to investing in eco-friendly property upgrades.
Not only is it better for the environment, but these tips will improve your property investment as well!
Improving your rental property in this way will:
- Make heating and water more cost-efficient for you and for tenants
- Future proof your rental property
- Increase the value and attraction of the property for tenants
- Decrease your impact on the environment over time
- Improve your captial gains if/when you decide to sell
Install Double Glazed Windows
Double glazing is one of the best ways to upgrade your rental property and ensure energy conservation.
Double glazed windows are more environmentally friendly because they conserve heat. This means that it requires less energy to heat the rental home and reduces overall impact from energy consumption.
Not only does it reduce energy consumption, but installing better windows also ensures that you are following The Healthy Homes Act. This requires you to provide warm, dry housing for your tenants, and keeping heat in is an important part of this.
Invest in a heat pump for the property
If you want to make your rental home eco-friendly, installing a heat pump is a sound investment.
Like double glazing, heat pumps work to conserve energy and heat the house more efficiently.
When you calculate the amount of energy it takes to create thermal energy, heat pumps have a 300% energy efficiency rating (compared with direct electrical heating which is about 35-45%).
Overall, this means that the rental home will be more eco-friendly as increased energy efficiency means less fuel and therefore less CO2 emissions.
As well as this, it will keep living costs down for your tenants and improve their quality of life.
A high-quality heat pump has a life span of about 15 years, and will last much longer if well-maintained! This is a lot more eco-friendly than standard heating options.
Planting trees on the property
Planting trees has a long lasting environmental impact, not only for your property but also for the wider community.
If you have a section on your rental property, you should always consider planting more trees and native plants!
This will make your investment more eco-friendly by:
- Improving air quality
- Encouraging pollination and bee population growth
- Creating space for compost and food waste to be repurposed instead of going in the trash
Comprehensive Recycling Information
As a landlord, you can do your part for recycling by informing your tenants.
On average, each Kiwi throws away approximately 3,200kg of waste every year- and only about 28% of that gets recycled.
To make your rental more eco-friendly, you can:
- Create signage for what can be recycled and what can’t
- Inform tenants whether there is an option for food waste (e.g. is there a garbage disposal, is there space outdoors for a compost bin, is there food waste disposal available in the apartment building)
You can’t make tenants recycle- but you can do your part to ensure they know their recycling and rubbish options.
Install energy-efficient whiteware
Providing whiteware that is energy efficient will make your home more eco-friendly.
The Energy Rating Label on appliances is calculated by how much energy it would use on average per year. The more stars an appliance has, the more energy efficient it is.
As tenants become more aware of these issues, the time is ending where you can simply install the cheapest appliances.
Investing in higher quality appliances means that you will spend less money over time and will keep more appliances out of landfills.
Provide an outdoor washing line
You are not contractually required to install washing lines. However, this will make your rental more eco-friendly.
Drying clothes outside/on a clothes horse will
- Reduce energy consumption by dryers
- Reduce damp air indoors
- Reduces impact on clothing and makes them last longer
Having an outdoor washing line where possible will benefit your tenants as well as the environment.
Encourage energy conservation
Creating an energy-efficient rental starts with you.
However, there are things that tenants can do to help as well!
You could easily create a small energy conservation section in their welcome packet.
Some easy ways you can encourage energy conservation as things like:
- Installing energy efficient light bulbs and encouraging them to do the same
- Reminding them to switch appliances off at the wall when they are not using them
- Provide guidelines on how to efficiently heat the home with a heat pump
Setting the standard at the beginning of the tenancy will have the biggest effect.
Solar Power Energy Solutions
If you are serious about lowering your impact on the environment, solar power panels are a long term investment.
Compared to ten years ago, standard solar installation are less than a quarter of the price. They are a lot more accessible than they used to be for average New Zealanders!
Benefits of installing solar panels in your rental property include:
- Increasing capital value of the rental
- Reducing wasted energy as it is all stored in the grid
- Reduced power bills for your tenants
This is as well as capitalizing on a clean, renewable source of energy.
Hang blackout curtains
Black out curtains are just one more easy way to conserve energy and make your rental property more eco friendly.
Black out curtains (especially thermal backed ones) have the same effect as insulation. They retain heat in winter, and keep it cool in summer.
They will also be a welcome added bonus for any hard-working professionals that become tenants!
Water conservation tools
Water will become one of the most valued resources in the future. It is important that homes are built with water conservation in mind!
On average, New Zealanders use about 277 litres of water per day (where the average person only needs about 50 litres!).
Some ways you can make your rental home more water-efficient are:
- Favouring efficient appliances like washing machines and dishwashers
- Installing taps that fall back down when not turned on all the way
- Finding a water-efficient showerhead that uses less litres per minute
- Choosing dishwashers or washing machines that have an “eco” setting
Are you a landlord that needs more tips on how to manage your property and stay up to date with current policies and housing trends? Make sure you join our email list for more tips like these.